Lane says he and Broderick will rejoin ''Producers.'' He says the three-month run will start Dec. 31, even though he's booked elsewhere throughout January

By Gary Susman
Updated August 11, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

As if Times Square weren’t crazy enough on Dec. 31, that night will also mark the return of Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick to Broadway’s St. James Theater to reprise the roles they created in ”The Producers.” On Sunday, Lane confirmed last week’s reports of the three-month return engagement. ”We’ve been talking about it, and I’m certain that it will happen,” Lane told the New York Post. ”And I had nothing to do on New Year’s Eve anyway.”

Lane won a Best Actor Tony for his role as scheming impresario Max Bialystock in the musical based on the classic Mel Brooks movie. (Broderick was nominated in the category as well for his role as nervous accountant Leo Bloom.) The two starred in the show for a year and led a production that was Broadway’s biggest Tony winner and box office hit in ages. The show has continued with a succession of new leads, but with nothing like the constant sell-out business it enjoyed during Land and Broderick’s run.

To make the return possible, Lane may have to do a juggling act worthy of Max Bialystock. He was already committed to star in Boston’s Huntington Theatre’s production of Simon Gray’s dark comedy ”Butley” from Jan. 2 to Feb. 1. According to Playbill Online, the Huntington confirmed as recently as Friday that Lane was still planning to headline ”Butley,” though the website said that, if the ”Producers” engagement did come to pass, the Boston company would reschedule ”Butley” for later in the season. They’d better move fast, because Lane has other theatrical commitments starting in June.